Viewing Downloaded CHM Files

A recent security update (Security Update for Windows XP - KB896358) has modified the behavior of files you download from the Internet. In this case, the download in question is the Team Foundation Installation Guide .chm file.

Option 1

After saving the file locally (for example, to your Desktop), try to open the file. You’ll see a message that looks like this:

Security Warning

To view the content in this file, click to clear the Always ask before opening this file check box, and then click Open.

Option 2

Or, right-click the file, click Properties, and then on the General tab click Unblock.

File Properties

I should've caught this when the Assistance Platform folks posted this.

And then there is this: After you install security update 896358, downloaded Compiled Help Module files cannot be opened.

Comments (26)

  1. James Chambers says:

    Thanks for this, Rob. I was caught off gaurd when trying to download the file for a client and submitted the report (I thankfully had a slightly older version handy that I forwarded). Glad to see that there were more than I that missed the bulletin. ;o) By the way, kudos for posting the links in such a timely fashion. Cheers.

  2. Dan says:

    Dudes, thanks,

    There I am with a board member from Adobe, and I can’t open the file I need to configure his machine. You made me look smart.


  3. Wouldn’t it be nice…

    VSTS Quality Tools: Getting Started with Test Generation

    Viewing Downloaded…

  4. Stephen Toub says:

    A few readers have commented to me that they’ve been having trouble recently viewing the CHM files…

  5. Despite the investment of time and money Microsoft has made in the name of community, there are those…

  6. Rob Caron says:

    This is just a reminder for those who download an HTML Help (.CHM) file from Microsoft Downloads…

  7. David says:

    Viewing these files isn’t a problem for me, but any links to external web resources in a .chm file always bring them up in MSIE. I’ve instructed Windows that my choice of browser is Firefox, not MSIE. How can I get Windows to always respect my choice of browser and not dictate it’s own to me with .CHM files?

  8. SubS says:

    i’m probably never coming back here. i’m not a high tech guy just needed to know wot to do to open a chm file and did not understand you guys.

    maybe i am extre dumb, but you guys are being too technical to help someone like me.

    kudos, although i have no idea what that means.

    please don’t hack me.

  9. Rob Caron says:

    There’s a new edition of the Team Foundation Server Administrator’s Guide that’s hot of the presses and

  10. Rob Caron says:

    Head over to the Team System User Education blog to get a look at a sample of what David Chesnut is calling

  11. OK I admit it, I thought it was something I was doing incorrectly… or something I was doing caused

  12. Sonya says:

    Awesome, thank you. I was about to fly off the handle until I found this post.

  13. john says:

    So what do you do when you aren't given the option to unblock the file, and it still won't open?  This is braindead

  14. john says:

    I found this post and it doesn't help, and I'm am still ready to fly off the handle.  I am not given any option to unblock the file, it just opens it in help and tells me navigation to the webpage was canceled.

  15. RobCaron says:

    John, try Option 2.

  16. jamo says:

    thankyou guys..

  17. RyeJ says:

    Hi RobCaron,

    Thanks! This is very helpfull.

    May I ask your permission to copy this blog post and use it as additional instruction/help in our site.

    Thank you and God Bless!

  18. RobCaron says:

    @RyeJ – Yes, you may, but please link back to this post in case I update the info later.

  19. Bharat says:

    Thanks Rob 🙂

  20. Thank you says:

    Thank you

  21. Ajaj says:

    Thanks Dude..awesome information

  22. Dan says:

    Thanks a lot,unblock has worked!

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